Saying “no” to the sweet stuff can seem pretty darn daunting, especially when it feels like it’s everywhere!

 

However, its so worth it! Critically evaluating your sugar intake and minimizing it as much as possible for even two weeks can have significant impacts on your health and can really drive down inflammation.

This is also a great way to conquer those stubborn and incessant sugar cravings! We can actually change our preference to sugar by eating less of it. In fact, after two weeks, it is likely that you will find foods much sweeter (sometimes sickeningly sweet) and you will notice sweetness in foods that you didn’t previously (like nuts, veggies, and fruit).

Doing a two-week challenge is also a great way to conquer those stubborn and incessant sugar cravings! You can actually change your preference for sugar by eating less of it. In fact, after two weeks, it is likely that you will find foods taste much sweeter (sometimes sickeningly sweet) and you will notice sweetness in foods that you didn’t previously (like nuts, veggies, and fruit).

So take some time to read through the steps below and create your 14-Day No-Sugar plan…

YOU’VE GOT THIS!

No-Sugar Challenge: Step-by-step

Step 1: Solidify your “why.” Why is cutting back on sugar important to you? Is it to lower inflammation or get a hold on your cravings? Do you want clearer more vibrant skin? Does your “why” give you that fire in your belly? If not, dig deeper. Check out www.sugarscience.org to help strengthen this.

Step 2: Prepare your house, office, car, etc. Get rid of any temptations in your house. “Out of sight, out of mind.” Tuck away the items that you want to keep. Talk to family members, friends, and co-workers about your plan and let them know how they can support you by not tempting you or keeping goodies at their desk.

Step 3: Read Dietitian Andrea’s 9 Tips for Hopping Off the Sugar Train without the Rage.

Step 4: Create your personal plan. What do you really need to focus on? Eating more balanced meals that keep you satisfied from one meal to the next? Getting more sleep? Drinking more water? Not going to the grocery store hungry?

Step 5: Get started and track your progress! [Print out the resource below and fill in the days of the week in the chart according to your start day.] Give yourself a smiley face, check mark, “x”, sticker, whatever to mark off a sugar-free day! Cut out the logging template below and post somewhere highly visible!

Download the full 14-Day No-Sugar Challenge Resource for steps, a tracking template, and Q&A’s to help you be successful.

Questions & Answers

What constitutes as “sugar” for this challenge?

A: Any of the following ingredients [hold tight, these are the 61 names for sugar]: agave nectar, Barbados sugar, barley malt, barley malt syrup, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, caramel, carob syrup, castor sugar, coconut palm sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, date sugar, dehydrated cane juice, demerara sugar, dextrin, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, free-flowing brown sugars, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, glucose solids, golden sugar, grape sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, icing sugar, invert sugar, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltol, maltose, mannose, maple syrup, molasses, muscovado, palm sugar, panocha, powdered sugar, raw sugar, refiner’s syrup rice syrup, saccharose, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar (granulated), sweet sorghum, syrup, treacle, turbinado sugar, yellow sugar.

OOFDA.

Is fruit allowed?

A: Yes, but try to keep it to no more than three ½ cup servings in a day. And if possible stick to high fiber berries like raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

What about grains, starches (potatoes, corn, peas, cooked carrots), and other foods that turn to sugar once metabolized?

A: I would suggest keeping these to 0-1 servings per day, with a serving size being 1/3-1/2 cup.

What less obvious foods should I watch out for?

A: Sugar is lurking in 74% of packaged foods so be sure to read the nutrition facts and ingredients label of any food. However, you may want to pay special attention to the following foods: sauces (like tomato, BBQ, and teriyaki), condiments (like ketchup), salad dressing, granola and cereals, and coffee creamers.

Are artificial sweeteners allowed?

A: No. Artificial sweeteners are linked to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. We want to steer clear of these, in general. Forgo stevia for this challenge as well.

What about diet beverages?

A: Nope, not these either. [See above regarding artificial sweeteners.]

What about 100% fruit juice?

A: While the sugar is coming from fruit, the concentration, amount, and quickly digestible liquid delivery of juice is just too much and causes our blood sugars to spike. Steer clear of juice during this challenge AND use in limited quantities after.

Are there any supplements that can help with sugar cravings as I go through this challenge?

Yes, L-glutamine can be especially helpful for managing sugar cravings, especially when you are trying to cut back. Try for 2,000-4,000 mg per day in either powder or capsule form.

 After the 14 days, what sugars are best to use?

A: Go for the unprocessed varieties like honey, maple syrup, and molasses and use as little as possible. Stevia is a good non-caloric substitute (when used in small amounts). And you can get creative with alternative sweeteners such as mashed bananas, apple sauce, or dates. The key is to use as little as possible.

Download the full 14-Day No-Sugar Challenge Resource for steps, a tracking template, and Q&A’s to help you be successful.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you have…cheering you on! So hard.

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